Or let’s not … it’s bleak. Let’s also not talk about the news, at least not the local news. The most intriguing headlines I found during my early morning vigil were American and Canadian, both involving bears. I think the zucchini wins?
Over here, we call zucchini ‘baby marrows’. Or, if we want to pretend we spent a lot of time in Europe, we call them ‘courgettes’. Whatever they’re called, I’ve never seen one big enough to ward off a hamster, let alone a bear.
While searching for zucchini trivia, I came across a mystifying quote by John Gould, “The first zucchini I ever saw I killed it with a hoe.” Of course I had to find out why. Turns out Mr Gould wrote a book called Monstrous Depravity: A jeremiad and a lamentation [about things to eat]. It turns out the book is quite a collectors item and I shall have to try and get myself a copy off Amazon.com.
In the meantime, I’m going to roast some vegetables and make soup. As one does at 4.45am …

“I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself than be crowded on a velvet cushion.” – John Gould.



  1. Oh my dear friend…why in the world are you up at such an awful hour …oh wait now I remember yesterdays post…but what kind of security services do you have that does not permit you to sleep…oh just random thoughts before bed…take care and be safe!

  2. I’m with Gould: “I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”

    Hope you got some shut eye BEFORE getting up to roast veggies. Mmm . . . soup.

  3. Adore that final comment. The weather’s bad here too – over 40C and high humidity. It gets a bit claustraphobic. Hope you don’t have too many early mornings.

  4. I am very familiar with zucchini the size of baseball bats–I swear I had one double in size overnight. Doesn’t that happen in South Africa? Summer is summer, isn’t it? Of course, at opposite months, but still?

  5. my mother and her second husband grew zucchini, to almost the size of baseball bats. the reasom we call them baby marrows is that we pick and eat them as babies – when they are small.

  6. seems you had a bit of the Cape yesterday! I love teen marrows as a vegetarian meal, stuffed with all sorts of yummy goodies! Hope you sleep better tonight 🙂

  7. Well, at least tomorrow’s Friday… I hope you’ll be able to sleep in over the weekend feeling much safer.

    In England, anything over a certain size is called a marrow and they can be gigantic (grown for country shows etc). However, big marrow is pretty disgusting, so to call a courgette a marrow would certainly reduce its marketing prospects! Here in France they simply (and sensibly) don’t let them get that big. Zucchini is simply the Italian for the French or English courgette or the South African baby marrow.

  8. During our autumn, people are madly giving away zucchinis. They grow like weeds around here. I like the smaller ones – raw in salad. The big ones can become woody and bland. I think one of the most interesting ways to use up zucchini is to make zucchini bread. Even that only needs 2 cups of the weird little vegetable.

    On the recipe page for this bread, Robert Browning is quoted:

    “So munch on, crunch on, take your nuncheon,
    Breakfast, supper, dinner, luncheon.”

    Just a little useless information to help keep you awake. How awful to have to be so vigilant. I’m visualizing a protective dome over your home and yard.

  9. ‘Monstrous Depravity’ sounds utterly fascinating considering it’s about food – your colourful roast veggies look quite delicious 🙂

  10. Yawn! You got out of bed really early, but I guess you don’t sleep sound at the moment.

    I had 2 more hours of sleep and made breakfast and lunch (packing up) but no soup!

    I didn’t know there was a third name for courgettes, it all gets very confusing!

  11. I call them zuccini, maybe because I always watched bbc cooking programmes and I never buy them fresh, only in frozen mixed veggies. What I always missed about your blog is the food you prepare,hehe!
    I used to tidy up or iron clothes in the early hours when my little one wouldn’t sleep. I will put her on my back, humming for her and 20 min would be ebough. Now that she is older we chat or read and she will go back to sleep. I don’t do the “ignore them” thing that we are so much advised to do.

  12. Soup simmering on the stove – CHECK! In this weather simply nothing else will do (ESPEcially not at 4:45am)! 😀

  13. Now that sounds like a strange book! Why would one need to kill a zuchini? Turns out we have a bear nearby. Did I already write about that? Do forgive if I did, my mind is going rapidly. Going where I have no idea. Anyway the next town over there a bear has been seen on Main St! We don’t live in the mountains or forests. I would never expect too see a bear and if I did I would have a complete fit of hysteria. They have set a trap in the backyard of an elderly woman who feeds cats. That doesn’t sound like a good idea too me. Poor old woman. As for the news it’s more and more depressing or stupid all the time.

  14. I used to have a recipe for zucchini chocolate cake. Good thing I lost it. It was delicious! Your vegetables ready to roast for soup look really good. Do you roast them and then drop them in a prepared broth? I like the deep flavor of roasted veggies. Thank you for sharing. I agree that food is better than news lately. Maybe always. 🙂 Blessings…

  15. Quite the thought flow, in this…and I can certainly see it as such an hour! Goodness. And yeah…that weather…I do believe it’s grinding everyone down these days. Bloody.

  16. My nonno (Italian grandfather) grew so many zucchinis of gargantuan size that by September we were just sick of them. I adore them and buy them at the farmer’s market when in season. I learned from him, however, that if too large, they are not as flavorful. Fave dish as child, zuch and eggs. Now I do zuch and tofu ~

  17. I love kick-starting the kitchen in the early a.m. I once had a “survival job” as a relief cook for a senior facility. It was always so delightful to be in the kitchen at 0-dark-30 in the a.m. frying up the bacon, putting on the “tatters”, and scrambling up fluffy yellow eggs.

    I love roasted veggies and that’s my fav way of doing them these day. Value added: no lost nutrients.


  18. I’ll tell you what — once summer is just about over here, and we’re all sick and tired of eating zucchini and are letting them just grow unmolested in the garden — I’ll send you a picture of a ‘monster’. My friend, Heather, and I are always amazed at how big those things can get!

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